Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The central bank of Bangladesh has started investigation into alleged money laundering of the scam-hit BASIC Bank Limited, a top central banker said on Saturday.
“Our financial intelligence unit (FIU) is now working on the issue,” Abu Hena Mohammad Razee Hassan, deputy governor of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, told reporters while replying to a query.
He also said the BB will collect information relating to money laundering from overseas countries if it needs.
Bangladesh as a member of the Egmont Group, a forum of the Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) of different countries, is now empowered to exchange information on money laundering and terror financing among its member-countries.
The Group has now 147 members across the world to promote and enhance international cooperation in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing and to foster the implementation of domestic programess in this field.
“We’ve also signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with different countries to gather information on the money-laundering matters,” the deputy governor noted.
The BB has already signed such deal with 25 countries, including the United Kingdom, Japan, Sri Lanka, India, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Malaysia, Bhutan and the Philippines.
He also said the central bank will submit information on money-laundering if anything detected specifically to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for taking legal action against the accused.
Earlier on July 15 last, the central bank sent a 47-page detailed investigation report on the BASIC Bank to the ACC for taking legal action against the accused behind the scam.
“We hope that the ACC will necessary actions in this connection,” SK Sur Chowdhury, deputy governor of the BB, told the reporters.
The central bank earlier found different types of irregularities by the BASIC Bank in providing loans, which include non-verification of customer’s creditworthiness, absence of ‘know your customer (KYC)’ procedures, and extending loans to defaulters.
The BB investigations detected financial irregularities involving around BDT 45 billion of loans in the three branches located at Gulshan, Dilkusha and Shantinagar in Dhaka between 2009 and 2013.
BBN/SSR/AD-26July14-4:50 pm (BST)